|Construction Update of Our New JATC: Gutted to the Bones|
The JATC was gutted to the skeleton to completely rebuild the inside. Right now, there are roughly 20 workers there, but by mid-summer, there will be 60-80 to finish. We hope it will be complete in time for fall classes.
Jaime Quintero, Journeyman
“Back in 2011, a buddy told me about the IBEW. I liked that it was hands-on work, doing new things every day, and not getting stuck in a cubicle. So I applied and got into the residential program, then about a year later, I moved over to the inside program. I had never done construction before, so it was culture shock. But I took it one day at a time, and here I am.
“Every day is different, and there are new challenges all the time: new people, new apprentices, and new technology. I like problems and figuring out how a pipe run is going to get from Point A to Point B and get around obstacles. There’s a real sense of accomplishment.
“I was born and raised in San Jose, and I’m proud to be part of a San Jose local union that supports the community. I’ve always been into unions. I like the idea of people coming together to fight for a cause. So when I got into IBEW, I started going to meetings and joining committees. There’s strength in numbers and a sense of community when we work together to achieve anything we set our sights on. One of those things is this training center. I’m proud to be working on it, and 30 years from now, people will still be looking at what we did here.
“When I’m not working, I’m mostly spending time with my kids and family. I also love to take a wrench to my ‘66 Impala, which I call my SJ Cruiser. And just like the union, low-riding car events are typically a family affair.”
Cody Van Dyke, Journeyman
“I got started in the trade in 2015, and I turned out a year ago. Before that I was a car mechanic. I was always able to work with the electronics in cars, so I figured I could do buildings too. It ended up being AC voltage as opposed to DC. However, the Ohms Law was the same, and I learned a lot at the JATC, so it was a smooth transition.
“My favorite part of the work is laying out electrical rooms, bending pipe, and the intricacy of it. I’m only a couple weeks into the JATC construction project, and we’re not there yet, but it’s cool to be a part of it. I learned so much as an apprentice, so it’s rewarding to give back. I hope the building really shows the craftsmenship. And it’ll be great for the apprentices and teachers to have so much more square footage when it’s done.
“I was born and raised in Gilroy and still live here. Work keeps me busy, but when I do have free time, I spend it with my friends and family.
“It’s wonderful to be part of the union with the great pay and retirement. I also appreciate learning from older journeymen and just meeting so many people. It’s all part of the IBEW brotherhood.”
Call for New JATC Instructors
“Everybody is really excited about the new training center. This is an opportunity to build a once in a generation building that every member can be proud of. Every step of the construction, the crew is going that extra step to show off the craftsmanship of our trade and other trades.
“When we re-open, we want to move to almost all night classes. So we need 10 new instructors. There are opportunities to teach apprenticeship, journeymen, and safety classes.
“I’ve held every job in our trade, and teaching was my favorite. It’s incredibly rewarding to pass on our craft to the next generation.”
Call Rob Moreno at 408-453-1022 for info on becoming an instructor.